THE North Queensland Cowboys have returned to the winners circle with a hard-fought 28-24 victory over a gallant Canberra Raiders side in a match that featured plenty of controversial calls.
THE Sydney Roosters have scored a bizarre 64-30 win over the North Queensland Cowboys at Aussie Stadium tonight, scoring an amazing 11 tries to 5.
THE St George Illawarra Dragons have answered their critics with a strong 28-10 victory over the Gold Coast Titans at WIN Stadium to kick off Round 10 of the NRL.
THE North Queensland Cowboys have consolidated their position in the top four with a solid 24-10 victory over the Gold Coast Titans at a rain-soaked Carrara Stadium to finish Round 8 of the Telstra Premiership.
THE Melbourne Storm have continued their unbeaten start to the 2007 season by downing the Brisbane Broncos
THE Manly Sea Eagles have defeated the Canterbury Bulldogs 16-14 in a tight tussle at Telstra Stadium tonight to maintain their undefeated record after five rounds.
THE Gold Coast Titans have produced a great team performance to hand the Brisbane Broncos their fourth loss in five games by running out 28-16 winners over the defending champions at a packed Suncorp Stadium this evening.
THE North Queensland Cowboys have continued their unbeaten start to the competition with a last minute 25-24 victory over a gallant Wests Tigers side in Townsville tonight.
TRI-NATIONS Game 1 New Zealand 18 v Australia 30at Mt Smart StadiumReferee: Ashley KleinMatch Summary:The Australian Kangaroos have won their opening Tri-Nations match for the first time in three years tonight, showing too much class in defeating the New Zealand Kiwis 30-18 in front of a vocal crowd at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland.The Kiwis started strongly, and posted first points through their makeshift five-eighth Nigel Vagana. A 6-0 lead was quickly turned into a 6-12 defecit though, following two quick tries from Karmichael Hunt - much to the disapproval of the parochial home fans.A punch-up erupted in the 21st minute after Matt King was shoved over the sideline following a Kangaroo mistake, and a cameraman found himself right in the thick of the action as players swarmed in to add their ten cents worth. Shortly afterwards, David Kidwell delivered an absolute bell-ringer of a tackle on Willie Mason - some will see it as sweet justice against Mason after he was spotted swearing at the Kiwis during the haka before the match.A 30th-minute penalty goal extended the Kangaroos lead to 8 points before a piece of Mark Gasnier brilliance right on half-time saw the Kangaroos leap out to a 20-6 lead. After holding 61% of the ball in the first half, the Kangaroos took a well-deserved 14 point lead into the second forty.The second half developed into a bit of an arm-wrestle with plenty of chances and half-chances on for both sides. Greg Inglis was unlucky to be denied his first Test try in the 49th minute, called back after the video referee ruled Karmichael Hunt had obstructed the Kiwi defenders.Kiwi interchange player Jerome Ropati broke the second half deadlock with a well-taken try in the 60th minute to give the Kiwis a sniff, but their spark was quickly extinguished by further Kangaroo tries to Mark O'Meley (67th minute) and Greg Inglis (75th minute). Manu Vatuvei capped off the night for the Kiwis with a try in the final minutes, but the race had well and truly been won by then.Both teams left nothing in the tank, and at the end of the day it was simply the class of the Australians that proved the telling factor. Both sets of forwards went strongly all night, and it was the backline stars - notably Lockyer and Thurston for the Kangaroos - that proved the difference. Karmichael Hunt also chimed in with some valuable contributions.The Kiwis tried all night long, but just couldn't crack the Kangaroos when it counted most. Adam Blair produced an eye-catching debut from the bench, providing plenty of strong runs and looking likely to break the line on many occasions. Brent Webb gave a typically strong performance from the back, but the saviour of the Kiwis in 2005 - Stacey Jones - was heavily targeted, and didn't get much of a chance to shine.Scorers:New Zealand: 18Tries: Jerome Ropati, Nigel Vagana, Manu VatuveiGoals: Stacey Jones 3/3Australia: 30Tries: Karmichael Hunt (2), Mark O'Meley, Mark Gasnier, Greg InglisGoals: Johnathan Thurston 5/6By the Clock:Good evening everyone! The 2006 Tri-Nations kicks off tonight with the defending champions on their own turf, up against an Australian team that will start as solid favourites.It's a cool, clear night in Auckland - no sign of rain, and it should be a dry track. A good looking crowd in so far.The anthems have been sung, and the Kiwis are lining up for the haka ... Willie Mason does his bit for international relations by mouthing obscenities as the Kiwis are doing their thing.KICK OFF - We're underway! Mark O'Meley has started for the Kangaroos in place of Willie Mason.4 min: A solid start from both teams. Nigel Vagana finds half a gap down the blindside on the last tackle, but his kick ahead is well claimed by Karmichael Hunt.5 min: A forward pass from the Kangaroos gives the Kiwis a scrum win 40 metres out - and it's followed up by a penalty against Nathan Hindmarsh for a high tackle.6 min: TRY New ZealandA quick play-the-ball from David Kidwell allows Nigel Vagana to catch the Aussie markers on the hop - from ten metres out, he squeezes his way through the defence and only JUST gets the ball down, the try awarded by benefit of the doubt.Stacey Jones adds the extras. New Zealand 6-010 min: Johnathan Thurston puts in a cross-field kick that is easily claimed by Tame Tupou, but he's pushed into touch while trying to evade the Aussie defence up the blindside. Kangaroos on attack, 20 metres out.11 min: Karmichael Hunt is smashed (legally) by Tame Tupou, forcing an error as the Kangaroo backline was looking dangerous.13 min: Johnathan Thurston snaffles an intercept and races 40 metres downfield before being caught.14 min: TRY AustraliaKarmichael Hunt crosses the line untouched following some quick hands from Thurston and Lockyer to get the ball out wide.Johnathan Thurston, despite the instructions of the vocal crowd, adds the extra two. 6 all.15 min: Australia get their first penalty of the night from Ashley Klein. Tame Tupou nearly manages to reel in the kick for touch, but he was touching the chalk.17 min: TRY AustraliaA second try for Karmichael Hunt - this time he followed Johnathan Thurston to the line and took a neat short pass that opened up a huge gap in the Kiwis defence. Worrying signs for the Kiwis here.Thurston adds the extras from right in front. Australia 12-619 min: It's deja-vu all over again - a Kiwi kick-off is quickly followed by a penalty to the Kangaroos. Aussies on attack, 30 metres out.21 min: A grubber from Thurston bounces off a thousand legs before being claimed by the Kiwis - but an accidental offside is ruled, and the Kangaroos will have another attacking set.21 min: BIFF - Mark Gasnier throws a wild pass that Matt King misses, and the ball sails over the touchline. King is then pushed into the advertising boards, and gets up swinging at Manu Vatuvei. Plenty of others rush in to get involved, and the cameraman finds himself right in the middle of it.Eventually referee Klein awards a penalty to the Kiwis, against Matt King. Considering he was up against Vatuvei, he's lucky that's all he got!25 min: JUSTICE - David Kidwell comes in with a beautiful shoulder charge on Willie Mason, and big Willie drops like a sack of spuds. He gets up eventually sporting a nice shiner.26 min: The Kiwis begin to build some pressure on the Kangaroo tryline, but Manu Vatuvei loses the ball in a Mark Gasnier tackle.27 min: Cameron Smith, looking for a 40/20, ends up putting the kick into the Kiwis in-goal. A great chase from Justin Hodges forces a goal-line drop out.28 min: With his first touch of the night, Brent Kite is penalised while in possession for an incorrect play-the-ball.29 min: David Kidwell and Iosia Soliola create some space out wide, but Tame Tupou drops the ball with a fair bit of open space in front of him.30 min: PENALTY GOAL AustraliaBrent Kite makes a huge bust up the middle that ends with Greg Inglis being tackled 10 metres out. On the next play, Stacey Jones is penalised for being offside - but at least it prevented a try.Johnathan Thurston extends the lead with a penalty kick. Australia 14-634 min: Consecutive penalties against Ruben Wiki for stripping the ball hands the Kangaroos more attacking possession ...36 min: Justin Hodges is penalised for an obstruction play, and the Kiwis hang on - somehow.37 min: Karmichael Hunt is picked up and dragged back into the Kangaroo in-goal.39 min: TRY AustraliaA loose pass from Stacey Jones is swooped on by Mark Gasnier, and he tears upfield with only Simon Mannering chasing. Mannering sticks with him and makes a desperate attempted tackle ten metres out from the tryline, but Gasnier skips through and dots down.Johnathan Thurston slots a beautiful conversion from out wide. Australia 20-6HALFTIME: New Zealand 6 Australia 20It's been one heck of a first half, but some crucial lapses from the Kiwis have been ruthlessly siezed by a classy Kangaroos outfit. It'll take a fair effort from the boys in black to get themselves back into this one.Possession: Kiwis 39% Kangaroos 61%Completion: Kiwis 68% Kangaroos 72%Offloads: Kiwis 4 Kangaroos 1Missed tackles: Kiwis 15 Kangaroos 5The second half is underway!42 min: Simon Mannering is penalised for getting Brent Kite into a dangerous position in a tackle. Nothing in it really ...43 min: Johnathan Thurston makes a meal of a play-the-ball as the Kangaroos were looking dangerous once more. A lucky let-off for the Kiwis.45 min: Matt King makes a break down the touchline and puts a kick in-field - Tame Tupou claims it in his own in-goal and puts in a great effort to get back into the field of play, but promptly drops the ball.46 min: A fumble from Karmichael Hunt lets the Kiwis off the hook. Steve Matai may have suffered a knee injury, but he's staying on the field (for now).48 min: Another silly penalty conceded by the Kiwis, this time Nigel Vagana nearly falls asleep on Andrew Ryan.49 min: VIDEO REF - possible Kangaroos try ...49 min: NO TRY - Greg Inglis had stepped through the line and past Brent Webb to score, but the Video Ref rules an obstruction play against Karmichael Hunt. The Kangaroos don't look pleased as they wander back from halfway.50 min: The Kiwis burst into life - a cross-field kick from Stacey Jones is allowed to bounce into the in-goal, and Darren Lockyer just wins the race to the ball ahead of Manu Vatuvei.52 min: The Kangaroos defuse a second Jones bomb, but Karmichael Hunt loses the ball as they look to work it out of their own territory.54 min: Some promising attack from the Kiwis is undone by a fumble close to the Kangaroo line.58 min: A solid tackle from Manu Vatuvei forces an error from Johnathan Thurston, ending a promising Kangaroo break up-field.60 min: TRY New ZealandFrom five metres out, Jerome Ropati spins out of dummy-half and reaches out to score under the posts, finally cracking some strong Australian defence.Stacey Jones adds the extras. Australia 20-1264 min: Matt King flies high to claim another Stacey Jones bomb out wide. The Kiwis have fired up, but the Kangaroos are proving tough to crack.65 min: Johnathan Thurston combines with Reni Maitua to make a half-bust out wide, but the referee calls them back for a forward pass.67 min: TRY AustraliaA strong run from Willie Mason sets up a good chance, and on the next play Mark O'Meley takes a short pass from Cameron Smith and crashes across the line. That should wrap things up for the Kangaroos here.Johnathan Thurston converts. Australia 26-1273 min: The Kiwis throw the ball around - Roy Asotasi combines with Tony Puletua to make a break up-field, but the movement is stopped when Ruben Wiki throws a no-look pass straight to Greg Inglis.75 min: TRY AustraliaThe Kiwis rush up in defence, leaving plenty of holes out wide. Darren Lockyer gets the ball out to Greg Inglis, and he dances down the touchline before scoring the try. The Video Ref takes a look, and awards it on benefit of the doubt.Thurston misses for the first time tonight. Australia 30-1279 min: Some razzle-dazzle football from the Kangaroos, but Cameron Smith throws a forward pass as Matt King was looking at some wide open spaces in front of him. Reni Maitua is limping off the field.80 min: TRY New ZealandStacey Jones gets a nice off-load away to Dene Halatau, who races 25 metres upfield before being caught by the Kangaroo defence. On the next play, the ball is thrown wide to Manu Vatuvei and he claims a try just before the siren sounds.Stacey Jones converts from right on the chalk. Australia 30-18FULLTIME: New Zealand 18 Australia 30A convincing victory for the Kangaroos tonight - on this showing, they'll prove hard to beat in this tournament. The Kiwis will need to re-group quickly to have any chance of defending their 2005 title.Possession: Kiwis 44% Kangaroos 56%Completion: Kiwis 69% Kangaroos 64%Offloads: Kiwis 14 Kangaroos 10Missed tackles: Kiwis 28 Kangaroos 14-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Darren Lockyer (Kangaroos)2 - Johnathan Thurston (Kangaroos)1 - Adam Blair (Kiwis)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 26 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 24 v Canberra Raiders 26at Toyota ParkReferee: Steven ClarkMatch Summary:The Canberra Raiders have held on for a hard-fought 26-24 victory over the Cronulla Sharks at Toyota Park tonight, in a game that almost set a new NRL record for the biggest comeback in a match.The Raiders completely dominated the first half to lead 26-0 at the break, and appeared to have the Sharks totally at their mercy. Alan Tongue scored the first try in only the 5th minute, and Simon Woolford followed up 15 minutes later as the Raiders took advantage of some very ineffective Sharks defence. Two quickfire tries to Todd Carney before the break opened up the 26 point lead, and a massacre seemed to be well and truly on the cards.Whatever embattled Sharks coach Stuart Raper was able to say to his under-fire troops at halftime should be bottled. Two Sharks tries within the first 10 minutes of the second half gave an improbable sniff of victory, but the game was well and truly on following a 59th minute try for Brett Kearney immediately followed by a second try for Luke Covell. Suddenly the Sharks only trailed by two points, and all the momentum was well and truly with the Shire boys.The last ten minutes featured some desperate finals-like defence from the Raiders, which will be the only positive they can take out of their second half performance. The match reached its climax when an 80th minute penalty against Queensland centre Adam Mogg for interfering with a Sharks runner off the ball handed sharp-shooter Luke Covell a chance to level the scores with a relatively easy kick.Despite having 4 conversions (including 2 from the sideline) under his belt, Covell was unable to land the kick - and a very relieved Canberra side clung to their two-point victory.The Sharks have now played their final match for 2006, and finish the year sitting on 10 consecutive losses. Their team showed plenty of ticker to come within a sniff of victory, but whether that is enough to save their coach from further scrutiny remains to be seen. This victory for the Raiders will see them finish the regular season in 7th spot, meaning a match-up against the Bulldogs next weekend is on the cards. Scorers:Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 24Tries: Luke Covell(2), Brett Kearney, Ben PomeroyGoals: Luke Covell 4/5Canberra Raiders: 26Tries: Todd Carney(2), Alan Tongue, Simon WoolfordGoals: Clinton Schifcofske 5/5Crowd: 9,289By the Clock:Welcome to Toyota Park for tonights clash between the Cronulla Sharks and the visiting Canberra Raiders.A win for the Raiders will move them out of the dreaded 8th position, so there's definitely some incentive for them here tonight. The Sharks (and especially coach Stuart Raper) will be looking for a much needed win to finish the season on a positive note.KICKOFF - We're underway!4 min: Phil Graham does very well to clean up a fumble from a teammate and run the ball out of his own in-goal. An offside penalty then hands the Raiders an easy ride upfield.5 min: TRY Canberra RaidersA nice offload close to the line from Phil Graham puts Alan Tongue into a huge gap, and he strolls across for an easy try. Simple but effective play from the Raiders.Clinton Schifcofske slips over as he kicks the conversion, but it still goes through! Raiders 6-010 min: PENALTY GOAL Canberra RaidersBrett Kimmorley is penalised for interference on a Raiders chaser. From 10 metres out, Clinton Schifcofske opts for the two points instead of keeping the pressure on. Raiders 8-011 min: Brett Kimmorley redeems himself somewhat as his restart bounces over the dead-ball line - but from the line dropout, the Sharks drop the ball on the first tackle.13 min: A very high Raiders bomb is well claimed by Darren Albert. The Raiders are dominating possession at the moment.16 min: From a scrum win, Brett Kimmorley throws a pass to absolutely nobody. The Sharks recover, but they're looking pretty dusty tonight.18 min: The Sharks suddenly spark up, thanks to a Lance Thompson half-break. Nigel Vagana goes close to scoring on the last tackle, but is pulled down just a couple of metres short.20 min: TRY Canberra RaidersA penalty for a high tackle hands the Raiders a full set right on the Sharks line. From there, Simon Woolford is able to take advantage of some pretty slack marker defence to squeeze through for a try. There's a hint of a double-movement, but Steve Clark awards the try straight away.Clinton Schifcofske adds the extras. Raiders 14-025 min: The Sharks rustiness flares up again as Lance Thompson is forced to kick on the last tackle. Meanwhile, Alan Tongue has clocked up his 1000th tackle for the season.28 min: A fumble from Adam Mogg (thanks to some strong Sharks defence) hands a scrum to Cronulla only 15 metres out from the Raiders line.30 min: Mitch Brown goes pretty close to scoring in the corner, but is denied by some good Raiders defence.35 min: TRY Canberra RaidersYet another Sharks penalty deep within their own half hands excellent field position to the Raiders. This time, Todd Carney is able to put on a neat little step and slide through almost untouched and claim a try.Clinton Schifcofske converts. Raiders 20-037 min: TRY Canberra RaidersAnd it keeps getting worse! Todd Carney scores his second try, taking a simple short pass from Simon Woolford and diving under the posts for an embarrasingly easy try.Clinton Schifcofske kicks another two points. Raiders 26-0HALFTIME: Cronulla Sharks 0 Canberra Raiders 26Unfortunately for the Sharks home crowd, it appears their team may have gone into hibernation a week too early. The Raiders are playing their usual brand of effective football, and could easily rack up a half-century at this rate tonight.The second half is underway!41 min: The Raiders have travelled 90 metres upfield on their first set. It looks like it's going to be a long second half for the Sharkies fans.45 min: Lincoln Withers looks to have suffered a hand injury, but he's staying on the field.46 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksThe Sharks are finally on the board! Adam Dykes runs the ball to the line and slips a nice pass to Ben Pomeroy to open their account tonight.Luke Covell adds the extras. Raiders 26-649 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksA high Adam Dykes bomb is fumbled by Craig Frawley, and Luke Covell is on hand to clean up the scraps and dot down in the corner. Could the impossible be on the cards??From out wide, Covell slots the conversion beautifully. Raiders 26-1251 min: The Sharks make a meal of the kick-off, handing possession back to the Raiders.54 min: The Sharks are lining up for their third consecutive line drop-out as the Raiders look to turn the screws.55 min: Steve Clark seems to have officially lost his marbles, ruling a fair pass backwards from Troy Thompson as a lost ball.59 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksKevin Kingston spots a huge hole up the middle of the ruck and darts twenty metres upfield. Brett Kearney backs him up to receive the pass and score under the posts.Luke Covell converts, and we've got a game on our hands! Raiders 26-1864 min: VIDEO REF - possible Sharks try ...64 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksSome sparkling play from the Sharks here! Adam Dykes pops a chip kick over to the corner, and Luke Covell claims a good catch and scores just before the dead ball line.Covell nails another sideline conversion. Raiders 26-2468 min: VIDEO REF - possible Raiders try ...68 min: NO TRY Canberra RaidersPhil Graham went bloody close to scoring right in the corner, but after plenty of looks the video ref rules that he had lost the ball short of the line.70 min: Ben Pomeroy drops a pass out wide just as the Sharks were looking dangerous once more.71 min: Second half completion rates so far - Sharks 11/16, Raiders 5/14. Sharks on attack once more.73 min: The game is being played entirely in the Raiders half for now, but the Sharks can't quite crack the line.75 min: Craig Frawley takes a great catch on his own line to deny the Sharks a good scoring opportunity.76 min: The Raiders try to run the ball on the last tackle within their own half, but Todd Carney's pass is called forward.79 min: A huge Brett Kimmorley bomb is spilled by Craig Frawley - but a touch judge has come on and a penalty is awarded to the Sharks instead. Luke Covell is about to have a shot at goal from 20 metres out to level the scores.80 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL Cronulla Sutherland SharksCovell misses the kick!! Canberra escape, but only just. Raiders 26-24FULLTIME: Cronulla Sharks 24 Canberra Raiders 26Despite almost pulling off a comeback of record proportions, the Sharks will finish 2006 with 10 straight losses. The Canberra Raiders finish the regular season in 7th spot, and will face the Bulldogs in the finals next Saturday night.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Todd Carney (Raiders)2 - Kevin Kingston (Sharks)1 - Phillip Graham (Raiders)-----------------------------------------